Welcome to the first issue of the Huntington Anti-Bias Taskforce (HABTF) quarterly newsletter. The HABTF is a non-partisan group formed by the Town of Huntington in conjunction with the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force. It is made up of concerned clergy, community representatives and lay persons who work together to address the issue of intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and racism in any segment of our Town.

We've been meeting monthly since January 2019 and have accomplished a lot. Check out some of our projects below. For more information about HABTF, click www.huntingtonny.gov/abtf

If you have any comments or suggestions, e-mail me at ckasper@huntingtonny.gov

Carmen Kasper, Director Human Services

    2nd Precinct SCPD Report
By Inspector William Scrima

There were no bias-related incidents in the Town of Huntington during the month of May. However, at the end of the month we saw the first of several protests related to the appalling death of George Floyd. As our police commissioner has stated, we are horrified by this unnecessary and tragic death. Officers in this precinct, in the county, and around the country are outraged by the video. As I write this, there have been no incidents of damaged property or injured people at any of the protests in our precinct. The credit for this goes to many people. It is a result of the pragmatism of the protest organizers, the temperance of the protesters, the guidance of the community leaders, and the professionalism of the members of our department. I thank everyone involved who participated in these events and contributed to crime-free events across the town.

The residents of Huntington should be aware that the SCPD is taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of residents and protestors as demonstrations continue. Residents should also be aware that the department has worked for years to maintain and improve relations with members of all communities. Over the past several years, the department has implemented and improved relevant policies, including bias-free policing training, training in de-escalation techniques, scenario-based training in use of force, and officer accountability. Please visit the department website - www.suffolkpd.org - for more information.

    South Huntington SD Approves EID Holidays
By Eve Krief

The Huntington Anti-Bias Task Force was pleased to be able to facilitate discussion and information exchange regarding the Eid Holiday initiative. The Muslim community has long hoped for the Eid holiday to be considered a school holiday. Muslim children would then be able to celebrate the holiday with their families without any concern or anxiety about missing school. The South Huntington and Huntington school districts have now the joined Elwood, Harborfields and Half Hollow Hills school districts in voting to make the Eid high holiday a school holiday.

Click here to read a LETTER of THANKS to the organizations, religious leaders and institutions who supported the initiative.

    RoundTable on Bias in Real Estate
By Dick Koubek

HABTF Hosts Community Conversation on
Biased Real Estate Practices

On December 19th, with just three weeks’ planning time, the Huntington Anti-Bias Task Force (HABTF), hosted a community conversation on how Huntington can respond to the November Newsday series which exposed racial steering and other forms of illegal housing discrimination in Long Island’s real-estate industry. We were delighted that, of the 30 people who attended, about 12 were real-estate agents, including a representative of the LI Board of Realtors. Others in attendance were supporters of HABTF including local clergy and community activists.

Ian Wilder, Executive Director of LI Housing Services, a nonprofit agency that since 1969 has tested for racial discrimination in Long Island’s housing market, did an excellent job moderating. He was non-threatening while being direct about the abuses uncovered by Newsday.

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    Implicit Bias Training
By Denise Ham

As part of the Huntington Anti-Bias Task Force's ongoing commitment to helping to create a welcoming and equitable community, an Implicit Bias Training was held for the committee on September 24, 2019 at Kehillath Shalom Synagogue.

After exploring several options, we agreed that in order to do so, we first needed to look inward and understand related concepts of Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, Stereotypes, and other terminology.

Part of the process is to understand that we each have life experiences that shape our views of anyone who may be perceived as "other" or "different."

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    SCPD Community Forums
By Geraldine Hart

The Suffolk County Police Department is committed to continued community engagement efforts incorporating bias-free policing and collaborative problem solving tactics to foster and strengthen relationships between the Department and the communities we serve. As part of this effort, Commissioner Geraldine Hart will host quarterly community forums to be held at different locations throughout the police district to accommodate all members of the Suffolk County community.

The forums will afford Commissioner Hart the opportunity to advise attendees of the Department’s policies and procedures, training requirements, current crime statistics and trends, and other timely information regarding community engagement. Attendees will have an opportunity to have a dialogue, express concerns and pose questions regarding issues that have an impact on their communities, while providing the Department valuable insight to better serve the residents of Suffolk County.

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